Cable Upright Row

Cable Upright Row

The Cable Upright Row is a highly effective exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the upper back, shoulders, and arms. It is a compound movement that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making it a great addition to any upper body workout routine. By incorporating the use of a cable machine, this exercise provides a constant tension on the muscles throughout the entire range of motion, resulting in an optimal muscle-building and strengthening workout. The Cable Upright Row begins with standing upright, gripping a cable handle with an overhand grip, and positioning the cable pulley at a height that aligns with your midsection. As you initiate the movement, you pull the cable handle upward towards your chest, while keeping the elbows in line with your shoulders. The emphasis should be on using the targeted muscles to pull the weight, avoiding any swinging or jerking motions. This exercise primarily targets the deltoid muscles of the shoulders, notably the lateral and posterior heads. Additionally, it engages the trapezius muscles of the upper back, helping to develop better posture and shoulder stability. The Cable Upright Row also recruits the muscles of the biceps, forearms, and even the upper chest muscles to a lesser extent. As a compound movement, it has the potential to improve overall upper body strength and enhance muscle tone. To maximize the benefits of the Cable Upright Row, it is important to focus on maintaining proper form and engaging the targeted muscles throughout the exercise. Controlling the weight and performing the movement in a slow and controlled manner will not only minimize the risk of injury but also ensure that the muscles are effectively trained. As with any exercise, it is important to start with a weight that is challenging yet manageable and gradually progress as strength improves.


  • Adjust the cable pulley to the desired height, usually around chest level.
  • Stand facing the pulley with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Grasp the handle with an overhand grip, palms facing your body, and hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your back straight and engage your core for stability.
  • Start with your arms fully extended, hanging in front of you.
  • Exhale and lift the handle straight up towards your chin, leading with your elbows.
  • Keep your body stationary and focus on using your shoulders to lift the weight.
  • Pause for a moment at the top of the movement and squeeze your shoulder muscles.
  • Inhale and slowly lower the handle back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips & Tricks

  • Always start with a proper warm-up to increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for the exercise.
  • Maintain a good posture throughout the exercise to avoid strain on your neck and back. Keep your chest lifted and shoulders pulled back.
  • Focus on using your shoulder muscles to lift the cable, rather than relying on momentum or momentum from your legs.
  • Control the movement both on the way up and on the way down, emphasizing the resistance and engaging the target muscles.
  • Avoid using excessive weight during this exercise. It's better to prioritize proper form and technique over lifting heavy weights.
  • Breathe in during the downward phase and exhale as you lift the cable upwards.
  • Keep your elbows slightly higher than your forearms during the movement to effectively target your shoulder muscles.
  • If you experience any shoulder pain or discomfort, reduce the weight or consult with a fitness professional to assess your form.
  • Incorporate variety into your routine by trying different grip positions, such as wide grip or close grip, to target different parts of your shoulders.
  • Listen to your body and take rest days as needed. Recovery is essential for muscle growth and overall progress.


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